Looking ahead in the NBA


Today, 12:30 p.m. TV-ABC

The question mark stems from the confusion at season’s end.

Otherwise, you’d go with Cleveland at Orlando and Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown wouldn’t be blurting that their games are now “high-level practices.”

Brown may now be obliged to start LeBron James, who just sat out with “bumps and bruises.”

This game actually means something. A Trail Blazer win would keep them No. 7 — and out of the Lakers’ way in the first round — with Portland owning tie-breakers in the event of a two-way tie with the Spurs, or a three-way with the Thunder.

A Laker win would restore a grain of confidence at a time when every little bit helps.

So everyone will try. The question is, how hard?